Tomographic studies of aeronomic phenomena using radio and UV techniques

Farzad Kamalabadi, G. Bust, K. Dymond, S. Gonzalez, P. Bernhardt, S. Chakrabarti, D. Cotton, A. Stephan, R. McCoy, S. Budzien, S. Thonnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tomographic characterization of ionospheric and thermospheric structures using integrated line-of-sight measurements provides a unifying paradigm for the investigation of various aeronomic phenomena. In radio tomography, measurements of the total electron content (TEC) obtained using a chain of ground receivers and a transit satellite are inverted to reconstruct a two-dimensional electron density profile. Similarly, prominent optically thin UV emissions, such as 911 and 1356 Å produced by radiative recombination of O+, provide the means to obtain F-region electron densities from space-based spectroscopic measurements. The existence of a number of UV sensors in orbit and in planning stage provide the means to carry out such tomographic remote sensing investigations on global scales. The inherent non-ideal acquisition geometry of such remote sensing observations, however, results in limited-angle tomographic inverse problems that are both ill-posed and ill-conditioned. Furthermore, the intrinsic presence of noise, especially in the case of UV measurements, imposes challenges on conventional reconstruction methods. To overcome these limitations, we approach the solution of these inverse problems from a regularization standpoint. In particular, we apply regularization by incorporating appropriate edge-preserving regularizing functionals that enforce piecewise smoothness of the solution. This paper describes these techniques, investigates associated inversion issues, and demonstrates their applicability through a case study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1580
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number12-14
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Ionospheric imaging
  • Tomography
  • Ultraviolet remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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